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Balance Disorders

As a teaching center with a high patient volume, the specialists at the Ear Institute of New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai are experienced in treating all types of vestibular dysfunction and offer a hands on approach to a number of balance disorders, including:

  • Acoustic neuroma, a benign tumor that grows on the nerve affecting hearing and balance within the inner ear – the nerve that sends information from the ear to the brain. Vestibular rehabilitation may be helpful in addressing balance deficits that result from this compromised nerve.
  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), the most common cause of dizziness and vertigo in adults. BPPV occurs when tiny calcium crystals break off and collect as loose debris (otoconia) within the inner ear. Our therapists are specially trained to use a series of customized head exercises to relocate the otoconia back to its proper position.
  • Cervicogenic dizziness, which results from whiplash injuries that occur with head trauma that often causes: injures the bone, muscles or nerves of the cervical spine; herniated cervical spine discs; muscle spasms in the neck; or arthritis. A combination of orthopedic surgery and vestibular rehabilitation can address the underlying structural issues as well as the dizziness and disorientation this condition causes.
  • Concussion, caused by a jolt or blow to the head. Vestibular rehabilitation can address dizziness, imbalance or vertigo (see Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) following a brain injury, which results in a concussion syndrome or the inner ear injury.
  • Dehiscent superior semicircular canal syndrome (DSSCS), caused by an abnormal opening (dehiscence) in the bone overlaying the superior semicircular canal of the inner ear. Though this condition is often managed surgically, patients may undergo vestibular rehabilitation to try and reduce the dizziness and vertigo resulting from this rare inner ear condition.
  • Imbalance of aging, the impairment of major senses we need to maintain our balance as we get older. Vestibular rehabilitation can not only directly address this vestibular deficit, but teach individuals strategies to mitigate the loss of other senses with an emphasis on safety, independence and prevention of falls.
  • Meniere’s disease, caused by the abnormal buildup of fluid in the inner ear. Vestibular rehabilitation may help to improve balance in mid-to-late-stage disease through exercises and activities that involve head motion.
  • Migraine, which can result in motion sensitivity (vertigo) that impairs the ability of sufferers to function normally in their daily lives. Vestibular rehabilitation, in conjunction with medical management of the migraine, can help to reduce motion sensitivity and restore some level of function.
  • Perilymphatic fistula, caused by leakage of fluid through a torn membrane that separates the inner ear from the middle ear. While this condition is usually managed surgically through membrane repair, some patients may benefit from post-surgical vestibular therapy to manage any residual symptoms of dizziness and imbalance.
  • Superior canal dehiscence (SCD), although SCD is managed surgically, often patients are asked to undergo trial of Vestibular Rehabilitation as a conservative approach to try to reduce the patient’s dizziness. Patients may also benefit from post-surgical therapy, should they have any residual symptoms of dizziness and imbalance following the procedure.
  • Vestibular neuronitis and labyrinthitis, inflammations caused by viral infection that can cause damage to hearing and vestibular function (labyrinthitis) or damage to vestibular function alone (vestibular neuronitis). Vestibular rehabilitation allows patients to explore and recalibrate their balance, with or without head movement.

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Ear InstituteTel: 212-614-8379Fax: 646-438-7809

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